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Hacker stealing data from a laptop

Is Computer Hacking Ever Ethical?

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Although you may be familiar with the chaos a computer hacker can cause in your life, you may not be aware that not all computer hacking is bad. In fact, many organizations employ people specifically to engage in ethical hacking activities on their behalf. In some cases, having a hacker on your side could help you prevent someone from gaining access to your systems.

What Is Ethical Hacking?

Ethical hacking is basically where a computer expert will attempt to gain access to your system through unauthorized protocols. Typically, this is done at the request of a company in order to determine what, if any, vulnerabilities are present in the security. Logically, if someone you’re paying to test your security can gain access to restricted areas of the system, another equally skilled hacker with nefarious intent would also be able to gain access.

The beauty of paying an expert to break into your system is that you’ll likely have plenty of time to correct holes in your security before a real hacking attempt is made.

Turning Bad Hackers into Ethical Hackers

While many people who perform ethical hacking jobs are simply people with a high degree of computer skill and knowledge, it’s not uncommon for regular hackers to trade in their black hats for white hats after they’re arrested. In some instances, bored teenagers and young adults who only started hacking to test their skills are able to turn their advanced knowledge of bypassing computer security into a successful – and legal – business.

How Ethical Hacking Can Help Your Business

While you may not have much to worry about from computer hackers while your business is still run out of your basement, things can change quickly once your business begins to takeoff. While many companies have IT departments or a computer person they trust with the bulk of their network infrastructure needs, your normal IT person may not have the specialized knowledge necessary to properly perform ethical hacking. This can make it necessary to bring in a specialist to help you find your blind spots.

If your business regularly collects personal or sensitive information from clients through the regular course of your interactions, even a relatively small business can become a hacking target. In order to ensure you’ve done everything necessary to safeguard the personal information clients entrust to you, it can be worth bringing in a hacking specialist whenever you make changes to your computer systems. Even if your current systems are relatively old, you may still want to bring someone in to look for issues when you have no immediate plans of upgrades. The money you spend now to protect your clients is a solid investment in the future of your business.

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